Top activities in Whistler for Non-Skiers
As one of the world’s leading ski resorts, it’s hardly surprising that so many people head to Whistler each year. While the slopes provide some of North America’s best skiing and snowboarding opportunities, this Canadian mountain resort has plenty to offer away from the ski runs.
With the winter season kicking off on November 22nd and running through May 2019, we take a look at some of the top non-ski activities in Whistler.
Go zip lining for an incredible view…
Whistler boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the world so why not enjoy a bird’s-eye view over the old forests and rugged landscape? There are two companies offering zip lining experiences in Whistler this winter. Ziptrek Ecotours boasts the longest zipline in North America at over 2 km long and their Twilight Tour is particular popular with those skiing by day. Superfly Ziplines also provide plenty of opportunity to view Whistler from a different perspective. There’s even an option to ride side by side with your friends!
Go dog sledding…
One for any winter lover’s bucket list, dog sledding is the perfect way to explore the Whistler backcountry at an exhilarating pace. Hurtling down icy trails and through snow-covered trees behind an enthusiastic team of dogs, this quintessentially Canadian adventure is sure to live long in the memory (and on the Insta feed). You could even choose to mush your own team of Arctic snow dogs or sit back and let an experienced guide do the work for you.
Enjoy fine dining with an ice cave twist!
The Whistler dining scene is most definitely thriving and here’s a brand-new take on fine dining for winter 18/19. The Blue Room (essentially a dining room in a stunning ice cave) is the result of a partnership between the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler and Head-Line Mountain Holidays. After a helicopter ride to the ice cave, you’ll enjoy a guided tour round the spectacular natural ice sculptures before heading to The Blue Room itself. Once inside, Four Seasons’ Executive Sous Chef David Baarschers will serve up a five-course meal that truly celebrates the very best of British Columbia.
Experience the thrill of the Winter Olympics…
While the 2010 Winter Olympics may be over, the venue for the sliding events remains. This year, the centre is offering bobsleigh and skeleton experiences between December 14th, 2018 and March 31st, 2019, meaning you can experience the world’s fastest ice track for yourself. Reaching speeds of up to 125 km/hr., this isn’t for the faint hearted.
Snowmobiling, log cabins and steak!
Brand new for the 2018/19 winter season, the Canadian Wilderness Adventures’ snowmobile and steak tour is a great way to round off a day of adventure. Explore the stunning Whistler backcountry by snowmobile on your way to a rustic log cabin on Sproatt Mountain before tucking into a Canadian three-course steak dinner.
Learn to axe throw…
There’s a lumberjack inside of us all it seems, and Forged Axe Throwing are on a mission to help you unleash yours. This exciting alternative to darts sees participants throw axes at a target with the goal of hitting a bullseye. As one of the leading indoor attractions in Whistler, this fun group sport is perfect after a day on the slopes or as an entertaining activity for non-skiers. There’s no axe throwing experience necessary and the team will provide all the guidance you need to get sinking those bullseyes. They even record all the results from the season’s leagues and tournaments. Don your finest plaid to really look the part!
Tobogganing is a great alternative for non-skiers and is a fun, affordable activity for all. There’s no need to purchase tickets online beforehand, just show up at the Park entry gate and pay the $15 vehicle fee for access. Entry payment includes toboggan rentals (although you can also bring your own) and access to the toboggan hill. Keep in mind that those under the age of 18 must wear CSA approved helmets (although helmets are recommended for all). Head to the on-site Day Lodge to enjoy hot chocolate, delicious hot food and indulgent treats.
There’s a new gondola…
Just because you’re not skiing, doesn’t mean you can’t ride the gondola and benefit from that stunning view! The opening day of the winter season (November 22nd) will not only see the first day of skiing and snowboarding, but also the unveiling of the much-anticipated 10-passenger Blackcomb Gondola. Stay warm and dry in the new gondola as it ascends from the base of Blackcomb Mountain to the top of the mountain adjacent to Rendezvous Lodge and the existing PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Together – the new Blackcomb Gondola, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and Whistler Village Gondola – form the first three-gondola connection in the world.
Skier or not, who doesn’t love a bit of retail therapy? In Whistler, you’ll find a huge selection of great shops selling everything from fine art to jewelry, and artisan foods to pottery. Hosted by The Westin Resort & Spa, the Whistler Winter Artisan Market runs throughout the winter months and is a great way to pass an afternoon. There’s also a brand-new high-end retailer in town this season, Jonathan+Olivia. The store is Whistler’s first multi-brand fashion lifestyle boutique carrying global brands for men and women from runway to contemporary.
Embrace Whistler culture…
The Audain Art Museum is Whistler’s newest cultural hot spot. Located right by the village, this iconic building houses a permanent collection of artworks from British Columbia. A visit to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre also comes highly recommended, celebrating the history and culture of local First Nations. Finally, the Whistler Museum has a remarkable variety of exhibits, telling engaging stories, sharing historical photographs and even showcasing an original gondola cabin!
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